Odds And Ends
The expression “you only get what
you pay for,” isn’t always true and knowing that many everyday
items need only cost a dollar is good news indeed. Once inside a
dollar store, it isn’t hard to understand why they’ve become
so popular. The best of them are large, stocked with a variety of
useful items and so well organized that you always know which
aisle to look in for a picture hanging kit or some new
With winter approaching, this is a good time to consider an
emergency kit for the car. Mine consists of two parts. The first
is for a situation we all hope we will never encounter. Still,
it’s best to be prepared for those “stuck-in-a-snow
bank-and-who-knows-when-help-will-arrive” type of situations.
Into a plastic shoebox, we put a box of emergency candles, a box
of wooden matches, a lightweight emergency blanket, a length of
polypropylene rope and a three-way flashlight with a blinking red
light. To this we added an orange traffic cone. Instead of the
emergency blanket, you may prefer to pack some large garbage bags
and I’m told that batteries do not last as long in the cold, so
you should change them once a month in really cold weather so your
flashlight will work when you need it most.
The second part of our
emergency car kit is for tools. This one contains three
screwdrivers, a locking clamp, regular pliers, two sizes of needle
nose pliers, and an adjustable wrench. We’ve also added a 16’
locking tape measure, a utility knife and a tire gauge, simply
because they are useful to have on hand.
You can get an all-in-one
screwdriver at the dollar store but I liked these, for a dollar
apiece, because they seemed sturdier and are magnetized at both
ends, which is helpful to hold a screw in place until you get it
started or to fish some small metal object out of a crevice.
You will want to stock your emergency kits with the
items you feel would be most useful to you in a car crisis.
In the home, it is useful to have some oft-used tools on hand for
hanging pictures, measuring a window or fixing the screen door.
The same little toolbox, containing a 10” metal claw hammer,
three screwdrivers, pliers and a measuring tape, will tuck neatly
away into a closet or cupboard so you don’t have to rummage
around in the garage looking for just the right tool for a small
The toolbox has a separate compartment in the top for storing
small items like nails, hooks and screws, as well. Again, you will
need to decide which tools would be most useful to you in your
household but these basics are a good place to start.
and Ends for more great articles.